King reminisces on his own time in Royal Marines after watching Kenyan military drill

From a demonstration by elite soldiers firing guns on the beach, to meeting with Girl Guides and charity workers, the King and Queen had a busy third day on their state visit to Kenya


King Charles learnt about Kenyans' commitment to the natural environment and how a British institution close to his heart has been helping train soldiers in the African nation.

The third day of the King's first visit to the commonwealth as Monarch began on a beach on the country's east coast.

There, he and Queen Camilla watched an elite team of soldiers, who had been working with the Royal Marines, doing a drill exercise.

Kenya had previously asked for UK and US help to counter attacks from the insurgent group, al Shebaab, who have attacked shopping centres and hotels and carried out kidnappings.

Kenya Marines, demonstrate a covert beach landing, showing defence collaboration in action, during a visit by King Charles III,. Credit: PA

For the King, who wore his Royal Marines tie in his role as their Captain General, the exercise brought back memories of 1974 when he did part of the Royal Marines all arms course in Lympstone while qualifying as a helicopter pilot with the Royal Navy.

Captain Sam Powell, of 40 Commando, who spoke to the King after the training exercise, said: “The King was reminiscing about the sheep dip, which is part of the endurance course.

“It is essentially a submerged tunnel that you dive through and underneath and then come out the other side. So you have to hold your breath as you go underneath it.”

After the exercise Charles asked one Kenyan Marine: “Have the Royal Marines put you through quite a lot? Have they put you through an assault course? They are quite testing!”

King Charles III, as Captain General of the Royal Marines, views the guard of honour. Credit: PA

He asked another if they had intercepted any drug smugglers, adding: “You know exactly what to do with them!”

Staying on the beachfront the King was shown Kenya's new generation cares about the planet while in Mombasa.

There,he met a group of Girl Guides involved with Tide Turners, a global movement educating young people about plastic marine pollution, Joanne Mirraho, 17, prompted cheers from her peers when she told the King “I love you!”

King Charles III with Scouts and Girl Guides during a visit to Early Birds Banda, a community organisation promoting marine conservation, Credit: PA

Charles, who often highlights the importance of caring for the environment, was recognised as a “Tide Turner warrior” for his commitment to reducing plastic pollution in oceans.

The King also met Dipesh Pabari and Ali Skanda, who told him how their non-profit organisation Flipflopi had created a unique sailing dhow, made out of recycled plastic and decorated with 30,000 discarded flip flops.

The King ended his day by watching as a portion of an artificial coral reef he helped to construct, decorated with an eco-friendly glass plaque bearing his cypher, was lowered on to the sea bed.

At the Kuruwitu Conservation Area, Charles learnt about the process of coral gardening, which involves fixing coral “plugs” into structures made from concrete and sand.

As he plucked pieces of coral from a bucket and fixed them into the base he asked: “How do you do this? Do you take a piece off the reef?

"So presumably, all sorts of different corals will start developing on this structure? It’s extraordinary.”


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